Fungai Lupande Mash Central Bureau
The new town of Kanyemba in Mbire District needs investors and yesterday Vice President Constantino Chiwenga said there were opportunities especially in solar power and agriculture.
Kanyemba is being constructed at the border with Zambia and Mozambique, at the confluence of Zambezi and Luangwa rivers, upstream of Cahora Bassa Dam.
VP Chiwenga, who travelled with a delegation of Government ministers wants to see a transformation of the area underpinned by immense opportunities in tourism, agriculture and fisheries.
He said over 200 000 hectares of land should be cleared to allow investors to take up opportunities leveraging on the Zambezi River.
“The Zambezi River is the major resource around which other programmes are going to be anchored. Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement Perrance Shiri dedicated 200 hectares for a community irrigation scheme to ensure sustainable food security at household and community level.
“Two thousand hectares was made available for commercial purposes, limited land clearance was done, but more needs to be done to achieve food security,” he said.
VP Chiwenga said more needs to be done in education.
He said on his first trip, the level of education was lower and First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa has done a lot at Mariga Primary School.
VP Chiwenga said a secondary school needed to be completed and A’ Level established.
Primary and Secondary Education Deputy Minister Edgar Moyo said slow procurement processes were frustrating efforts to develop infrastructure.
“A four classroom early childhood development unit at Mariga Primary School was roofed and is ready to be used. Last year, $1,5 million was availed for the education sector in Kanyemba and this year $20 million was released,” he said.
“We want to assist the community to establish a low-cost boarding facility and $40 million was availed for the project. The slow procurement process and inaccessibility of the area after a bridge was swept away are the challenges.”
VP Chiwenga challenged Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube to avail the US$260 000 needed for Kanyemba to be connected to the national grid while solar projects were being developed.
Prof Ncube yesterday pledged to ensure the release of devolution funds for projects in Kanyemba and turn it into a world class resort town.
“I am aware that sometimes Treasury is slow in releasing funds and I will make sure that funds are timeously released.
“I am aware of the various projects in Kanyemba, which include an information centre, fixed telephone lines, an exhibition park, transmitters and base station for television and radio stations,” he said.
Prof Ncube said the community, especially women, can make use of funds already availed for projects like making bread, candles, soap and floor polish.
VP Chiwenga asked Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Joel Biggie Matiza to ensure the completion of tarring of the Mahuhwe-Kanyemba Road.
“We want construction of the road to be done with speed, that way, everything we want to do here will be done with speed.”
Minister Matiza said feasibility studies for a three-way bridge that will connect Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique are at an advanced stage.
“The construction will be funded by the African Development Bank and we are expecting it to take-off soon. Construction of a pontoon landing bay is complete and we are working on a 6km link road,” he said.
Minister Matiza said tarring of the first 5,5km of Mahuhwe-Kanyemba road is complete and another 4,5km stretch is at various levels of construction.
“I want to see these projects completed. The President is waiting to come and see the people of Chapoto, and why we are saying this place needs to be looked after. Money was availed for community projects, let’s develop ourselves. This makes the community especially women busy and there will be no need to cross the border for these products,” VP Chiwenga said.
“Good health comes from a good health delivery system and without it, life expectancy is cut short. I want to see the clinic upgraded to a provincial hospital forthwith,” he said.
Health and Child Care Deputy Minister Dr John Mangwiro said the ministry had established a district medical officer’s post which was filled by Dr Edwick Chidziva.
“We will also supply snake anti-venom because there are a lot of snakes in this area due to vast forests,” said Dr Mangwiro.